Canada bans imports of handguns as of August 19, says Justin Trudeau


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, currently on vacation in Costa Rica, made the announcement on Twitter: “As of August 19th, the importation of handguns will be banned in Canada. The ban will remain in effect until the national handgun freeze - which will make it impossible to buy, sell, or transfer handguns anywhere in Canada - comes into force.”

The government had introduced legislation, Bill C-21, for a national freeze on handguns days after 19 children and two teachers were gunned down at a school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. However, the relevant bill has yet to be passed by parliament which is on its summer recess.

If passed, the new law will “prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country,” according to a release from the prime minister’s office at the time.

However, the government wants to bring the “ultimate impact” of the handgun freeze in Canada “into force sooner”, according to a joint release on Friday from Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly and Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino. They described the measure as “a temporary import ban on the importation of restricted handguns”.

The restriction will remain in place till the national freeze comes into force.

“Today’s announcement is further proof that we are using all tools at our disposal to fight gun crime in this country. It is a key pillar of our plan to address it, along with investments in prevention, action at our borders, a ban on assault-style weapons and Bill C-21 - Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation,” Mendicino said.

The release also noted that law enforcement agencies seized more than double the number of firearms at the border in 2021, compared to 2020, which was also the highest number of firearms seized in recent years.

They also stated that data showed that Canada imported $26.4 million worth of pistols and revolvers between January and June and this year, a 52% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)